Swinging cafe doors are the heart and would of old west Americana. Do you remember the lone wanderer who steps through swinging doors into a room full of angry men, or do you remember that he stepped through swinging doors into a room?
The decor makes the cafe.
Even better, in some cases, the decor elevates your cafe’s functionality as well. Swinging cafe doors are one of those rare cases. Doors like these typically increase visibility from the back of the house and free up both hands to carry food because they open easily with little force.
Cafe doors also permit air and light to flow through the building.
Where Will You Put the Doors?
Cafe doors can go in a couple of places throughout your establishment.
They can be in the entrance that the public uses or serve as barriers between the back-of-house and the front-of-house.
Depending on where your new doors go should determine whether you want to maximize aesthetics or functionality.
If your door is in the front entrance, consider a full-sized cafe door with an attractive glass center in place of a half-height door like you would see in western movies. You can also go with a more delicate or a western-y birch door cafe-style finished like these bar doors typically seen in Eastwood movies.
For doors that servers and kitchen staff use, we recommend function over aesthetics. First and foremost, staff doors need to be durable, easy to open, and easy to clean. Go for push plates, good quality cafe door hinges, and a well-varnished wood or laminate finish.
We don’t mean that your back-of-house doors need to be ugly, only that aesthetics shouldn’t be your first consideration.
How Much Privacy Do You Want?
Is your staff rowdy? Do you have trade secrets to preserve?
You might want to consider a full-sized swinging door to keep the back-of-house in, well, the back of the house.
Do you care more about promoting a bright and airy feel? Do you want improved circulation in your cafe?
Choose a half-height door that gives you a little bit of separation between your staff and your customers… But not too much! Even better, half-height doors can lend your restaurant an airy, wild west vibe that many people find appealing.
What Are Cafes Around You Doing?
If you’re considering swinging cafe doors, you can get a good sense of the kinds of doors that will stand out by visiting the cafes around you.
If most cafes aren’t doing the western thing, adding some subtle western flair to your restaurant will help you stand out.
If the opposite is true, opt for full-sized swinging doors and break through the cloud with stunning glass or other material. You can still add flairs of Americana if you want with decals if that’s your vibe.
Either way, standing out is essential and swinging doors are great ways to tell everyone that you’re different.
Ready to Buy Your New Cafe Doors?
Many other factors still need to be covered before you can make a complete decision. However, this guide should set you up to navigate your shopping trips with a solid vision in place.
If you’re still feeling lost, feel free to ask your supplier for a custom door!
Either way, if you’re hungry for more practical advice like our guide to cafe doors, keep reading our blog!